Tuesday, April 28, 2009

1 Chicken = 3 Meals

Like the rest of the planet, I am trying to stretch our food budget. Funny thing, the more I try to stretch it, the better we seem to eat. Recently I purchased a Rotisserie Chicken, the $10.99 Free Range chicken was not exactly cheap, but I was shocked at how many meals it provided.

Meal 1: Rotisserie Chicken with new potatoes and broccoli
Meal 2: Spring Vegetable Casserole with Chicken
Meal 3: Chicken and Egg Noodle Soup

So generally what I do is play my own version of Iron Chef... I start with the chicken and then ransack the fridge for whatever I can find. Meal 1 was kinda lazy.. and Meal 3 well what else can you do with a few bits of chickens, some bones and vegetables... It was Meal 2 that I will be scribbling down in the margins of my cookbook.

Spring Vegetable Casserole with Chicken*
Warning: I suck at writing recipes, so there are no exact quantities or times... Just use your best judgment.

  • Vegetables: asparagus, carrots, leeks, peas, broccoli
  • Chicken
  • Cheese ( I like Tillamook Colby Jack or any type of Beechers)
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Rice
  • Breadcrumbs

In a saute pan, add chopped leeks, and carrots. Saute in a little bit of butter or olive oil. Chop up chicken into small bits and add to leeks and carrots. (I also added a tiny bit of the chicken fat)

Add a small handful of rice to this mixture and a little bit of water. I use the rice as an enhancement, not the main ingredient so in the end, there should be as much rice as vegetables. Keep adding water until rice is cooked.

Peas, asparagus and broccoli were actually frozen and bagged organic veggies. I added them to the saute pan with the rice/chicken mixture and then covered and took them off the stove. The steam will defrost them.. add a bit of heat if they don't defrost all the way.

In another sauce pan, melt a couple of tablespoons of butter. Add a little flour (tablespoon size) and make a paste(roux). Add some milk(about a cup) to this paste and bring to a light boil. Add cheese (1/2 cup diced or more if you prefer) and stir until you have a nice sauce.

Place rice mixture in a casserole pan, pour sauce over mixture... letting it soak into the rice. Loosely cover with breadcrumbs and bake for about 30 minutes (350) until it bubbles. Serve with parsley. I seasoned throughout with salt and pepper... Paprika and a little nutmeg also work well.

Friday, April 24, 2009

AHA Moments

In my day dreams, I frequently imagine myself living in some quirky quaint seaside town... some place quiet and small, but close to a major city. Some place with lots of trees, where I could walk on the beach and watch the ocean. I looked on the maps, entertained ideas about faraway places and finally conceded that it was after all... just a day dream.

Last weekend, on our return flight from San Francisco, we had to circle before landing. We flew over this beautiful peninsula of trees and houses surrounded by water. Just as I realized what it was, I also realized it was my daydream. The peninsula was my hometown of West Seattle, a quiet little part of Seattle surrounded by water.

I have spent so much time looking for that perfect place, I didn't realize that where I live right now is pretty damn wonderful. I am closely looking at other areas of my life, that I might have overlooked in my pursuit of perfect. I suspect that embracing what I have and not desiring a day dream is the key to happiness... AHA!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

and she's back...

I wish I could say I was taking a nap for the last several weeks, hence the lack of blog posts, email and basic communication... but unfortunately, I was just buried under a mound of work, commitments and health issues.

The thing about being so overwhelmed, is that when it comes time to make a move, any move you are frozen. Should I go for a walk? Frozen. Should I post on one of my blogs? Frozen. Should I eat chocolate ice cream with strawberries? YES... I said frozen not dead...